Our readings this week speak to each of our domestic churches — the little churches that we call our families. They bring us back to the very beginning of time and call us to restore what God had intended for each of us.
The First Reading from the book of Genesis takes us to the beginning of creation when God made man and woman. God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a suitable partner for him.” And out of man, woman was created.
When Adam sees the woman he says, “This one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; this one shall be called ‘woman.’”
We can almost hear the longing, gratitude, and appreciation in Adam’s voice when he meets Eve as he says, “at last.” She was a gift because she was an equal partner to him.
This was before the fall of man, meaning sin had not entered the world. Adam and Eve only viewed each other in total acceptance and love.
Our Gospel brings us to life after sin had entered the world — a time that is familiar to us. As the Pharisees questioned Jesus about divorce, He expressed that Moses permitted it because of the hardness of man’s heart. However, Jesus was calling them to deeper holiness. He was calling them to restore the original plan God had intended for marriage, “A man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”
Jesus’ words still apply to us here and now in each of our domestic churches. It is the task of families to tirelessly work to restore God’s original plan for marriage and family life — homes filled with gratitude, acceptance, and love. It is a beautiful request and yet extremely difficult because sin and temptation surround us.
It takes a daily commitment to live out our call to holiness to restore our families to this beautiful image.
To recognize the gifts God has bestowed on us through the members of our families, we need to remain close to our Gracious Giver. Just as Adam and Eve “walked” with God in the Garden before their fall, we too are called to walk with God in our day-to-day moments. This is primarily done through prayer and action.
As Genesis reminds us, God created woman as a partner for man and He desires that they become unified. It is in this union of marriage that man and woman work together to bring their family to Heaven. This is the mission that our families must be united in.
We must ask ourselves, how are we living out that mission? It should be the very heart and soul of our families.
It is done through individual, spousal, and family prayer. Simply by praying before meals, attending Mass together, going to confession, praying a decade of the Rosary, or even a simple Hail Mary, Our Father and Glory be together each evening that we become more aware and united on our mission to Heaven.
It’s also done through action — how we treat each member of our family. How we respond to one another in our day-to-day moments, support and challenge one another on this road to sanctity, and humbly choose to serve each member that our families will be transformed.
Restoring our families to what God had intended them to be takes work, but it doesn’t need to be complicated. All we need to do is take one step closer to Him.
As we think about our families this week — whether it be a single household or a family of 10 — let us find small ways in which we can live out our mission to bring our families to Heaven.